Gender Differences Regarding Informal Caregivers of Older People
Article first published online: 1 NOV 2012
© 2012 Sigma Theta Tau International
Journal of Nursing Scholarship
Volume 44, Issue 4, pages 349–357, December 2012
How to Cite
del-Pino-Casado, R., Frías-Osuna, A., Palomino-Moral, P. A. and Ramón Martínez-Riera, J. (2012), Gender Differences Regarding Informal Caregivers of Older People. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 44: 349–357. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2012.01477.x
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 1 NOV 2012
- Accepted September 28, 2012
- Gender differences;
- objective burden;
- subjective burden;
- older people;
Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine differences related to gender among informal caregivers serving older disabled individuals.
Design and Methods: A secondary analysis of the most recent national cross-sectional survey, which was conducted in Spain on informal caregivers who served older individuals (65 years of age or older), was conducted in 2011 (N= 1,272, probability sample). The relationships between gender and intensity of care (amount and type of care provided), duration of caregiving, subjective burden, and satisfaction with caregiving were analyzed by bivariate and multivariate procedures.
Findings: No statistically significant gender differences were found with regard to the intensity of care, duration of caregiving, or satisfaction; however, subjective burden was found to differ between men and women, and this difference was statistically significant (odds ratio = 1.98; p= .012).
Conclusions: Because this study was conducted in Spain, a country with strong patriarchal norms with regard to caregiving and familism, whereas gender differences in intensity of care have been reported in countries with low familism, we conclude that cultural diversity can influence the relationship between gender and intensity of care. On the other hand, our study increases the evidence in support of there being gender-based differences in subjective burden among family caregivers serving older people in Western industrial countries. Finally, the results of our study support the hypothesis that sources of satisfaction are more strongly related to the caregiver's personal context and characteristics than to his or her gender.
Clinical Relevance: These findings support the following recommendations regarding nursing interventions: (a) nurses should take into account specific cultural patterns in caregiving to improve their understanding concerning the relationships between gender and intensity of care, and (b) gender should be taken into account in interventions that are tailored toward addressing subjective burden.